Review: Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #1)

Title: Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #1)
Author: Laini Taylor
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal Romance, Fantasy
Publisher: Little, Brown & Company
Synopsis/Summary: Around the world, black hand prints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky. 
In a dark and dusty shop, a devil's supply of human teeth grows dangerously low.
And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.
Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she's prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages—not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she's about to find out.
When one of the strangers—beautiful, haunted Akiva—fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?-Taken from GoodReads
From the book on: Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / The Book Depository

     Gosh, this is a really great book, with its epic story line, the wholeness and richness of the world-building, even of its slightly strange aspects, this book is close to perfection in my opinion.

    First of all, I must say I love all the mysteries set up from the start of the book. Black hand prints on doors? Made by mysterious people with winged shadows? I am sure you could guess what species these strangers are, but you don't know the rest, and I am sure you will be delighted to find out ;)

    Second, I love all the strangeness (in a good way) of the book, especially at the start. When we were introduced to Karou, a girl with blue hair naturally growing out of her head, runs secret errands for her sort-of-family, I was immediately riveted by her. She was just such an interesting character that I couldn't help but want to find out more about her. And knowing her we did, and the pull Karou had on me kind of vanished, with her secrets being peeled and we saw her, knew her. But by then the story had already drawn me in and even without the urge to know all about this peculiar main character, I still read on, and was deeply satisfied with my experience :)

    Which brought me to the third thing, the wholeness of this book. There was a past-life story line going on there and I was glad that the mysteries of the past was revealed slowly, chapter by chapter, bits by bits, mostly through out the book (the last part had more of the past, but it was so cool, I loved it!). There was not really a second when this book was boring, or any parts or events that were redundant. The story was fully developed with a solid back-story, amazing world-building and mysterious and intriguing characters.

     I did have a small complaint, that was that the romance aspect actually took up too much of the story, if you ask me. I am not really a fan of romance, but I don't hate it. Every book has a little romance, sometimes even the whole book is a love story, and those were the kinds that I am quite annoyed with. The whole romance just felt a little too boring to me, I mean some moments were sweet, by too much really made me wanna gag, and I felt that this book had gone a bit overboard. But that's just my opinion, I know a lot of people love books that have a bigger romance aspect in them, or even a whole romance novel, and I am sure this book's love story will be satisfying to you ;)

    By the way, I absolutely loved the writing, the prose. It was so lyrical, beautiful, the prose helped wove a beautiful yet tragic love story with the most unique world-building I have ever seen!  At times the whole metaphor and analogy thing might me a little annoying, when you just want to know what happens next, but most of them are good, and the third person POV blended into the story perfectly. I was aware of it, not like when I read The Secret Sisterhood of Heartbreakers, when I didn't even realize I was reading it, but it was still very good and worked well with the story. Plus the transition of POVs was not confusing at all, and there weren't actually that many POVs, just two, so I am good :)

    Oh, the world-building, where do I begin? It was so great, everything about it was just so well thought-out, there were no holes in it at all. Well, maybe some tiny ones, but those could be easily overlooked. The whole world-building was very imaginative, the paranormal aspect was so unique, it definitely made it stand out of all the paranormal novels being sell these days.

    The story was first set in Prague, and most of the story happened there. I have never been to Prague, but I liked it. The way Taylor described Prague, it sounded like a beautiful city, yet I could feel the melancholy in the air, in between the lines, and that fitted the story pretty well. Hack, this book made me want to go to Prague!

    Like I said before, there were some really interesting characters in this book. Karou, as an example, and Akiva too. His story felt a little less riveting as Karou's, but no doubt it was a sad one. I absolutely love Zuzana. She is Karou's best friend and I really liked her. She might get ignored a lot because Karou always had to read secret errands, but she didn't really left her side, no matter how hurt she was that her best friend was hiding secrets from her. She didn't really appear in the last half of the book, but I would really want to see her more, and I am sure Karou does too! ;)

    I would give this book 4.5 stars! Why not 5 stars you ask? Since I sounded like a salesperson just there, keep ranting on about how great the book is? Well, because the romance kind of annoyed me, so the 0.5 star was gone :P Anyway, it was still a very good book, a little too long for a relaxing read, but it was definitely worth reading. You could read it one part at a time if you don't have time to finish it in one sitting, and the beauty of the book is, it has short chapters! Really, I am that kind of person who couldn't put down a book unless I finish the chapter I was reading, and the short chapters really did justice :P Daughter of Smoke & Bone is a high fantasy novel with unique world-building, mysterious and eccentric characters (at least at first glimpse they were :P And I meant that in a good way) and a bitter-sweet love story that I am sure readers will enjoy, though some parts are a little too much for me. I would recommend this book to every reader out there, the paranormal aspects of this book is really different, the love story was flushed out, though at first it felt a little like insta-love, it turns it wasn't. Hope you will enjoy this book! :)

Rating: 4.5 stars!

1 comment:

  1. Awesome Review! I loved this book, I was so mad at myself for not reading this one sooner, the fantasy was so creative!

    Kristin @ Young Adult Book Haven